Erin thought that her captor had used the brass candelabra on the biker, but he was on the other side of the room grinning. He rushed from where he watched the biker collapse and knelt on the ground before him near a growing pool of blood on the carpet from his damaged head.
The ghoulish stranger looked up at Erin and spoke to her in the same odd manner as before without moving his lips, like some absurd ventriloquist. You have to strangle him, he's not dead yet.
What! You're crazy! Before Erin's words were finished ringing in her head, her hands were clasped around the biker's thick neck squeezing as tight as they could.
Yes, the ghoul said as he hovered over the biker's body. Just a little bit more, he's almost there.
Erin watched her captor through eyes that were of two minds. Her body was probably watching the biker to make sure he was dead, but she was bearing witness to another spectacle. Her captor's milky eyes rolled into the back of his head as his mouth and nostrils opened unnaturally wide. His sickly body began to shiver and tremble in his ragged clothes. His cracked lips began to fill in, the lines on his face fading, his white hair thickening, now vibrant and black. Not only did his body grow younger, but his clothes began to repair themselves of rips and tears.
As his eyes rolled back in place, now green and life-like, his smile faded.
"What are you looking at?" He spoke from his mouth this time. "I told you before never to watch me!"
He stood from the biker's corpse. There was a look of suspicion on his face, of untrustworthiness, of ill contempt.
"What are you staring at? Get him into the kitchen."
Erin's body grabbed the biker by his feet and began tugging his corpse toward the kitchen. Erin screamed and pleaded but no one, including her own body, could hear her calls. Why wasn't he at least helping her carry the bastard's body?
After she managed to drag the body into the kitchen, she began to strip it of clothing. Her body then took a filet knife disemboweling him right there on the linoleum floor. Erin screamed and cried in her mind, did everything she could think to stop her body from cutting the man to pieces, but nothing worked.
With a cleaver, his head was severed and tossed in a garbage pail. His genitals were discarded along with the organs, at which point Erin's body took the filet knife and skinned him.
The problem with Erin being trapped inside her body's unconscious was that she couldn't close her eyes; she was forced to watch this grizzly slaughter.
Her body skinned him with a precision only experience could account for, and then, with equal measure, her body cut his cadaver up like a butcher. Some of his body went into the freezer, some in the refrigerator and...
Erin watched as her hands rubbed seasoning on a rack of his ribs. There was a sense of normalcy to what her body was doing, a sense of knowledge. The act of butchering the biker was as nonchalant as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Her hand turned the oven on, and a few moments later the rack of ribs went in.
I can't eat that! There's no way I can eat that!
Little did she know (and slowly she was suspecting) that she had, in fact, been eating people ever since her capture. Though she may have eaten human flesh under a trance, she could not allow herself to do so knowingly.
As the food (if that's what it could be called) was cooking, Erin discovered how her toilet bucket was changed and how her water was refilled.
All this time she was her own maid and didn't even know it.
Her captor hid in the shadows the entire time. She had the feeling that he was watching her, but she didn't see him anywhere. Maybe he was enjoying his restored body. Perhaps he enjoyed watching her bizarre ritual of eating his victims.
With the five-gallon bucket back in her hot stinking room, and the bottle of water filled and in its appropriate place, her body opened the oven and pulled out dinner.
The smell was like rotten lamb and as many other mysteries were revealed, so was the strange odor that seemed to have permeated the air conditioner.
The ribs were placed on a carving board. Erin's hand then took a knife and cut them individually. To her dismay, she grabbed an individual rib and brought it to her mouth. Her mouth took a bite and began chewing. The meat tasted gamy, and though her mouth kept chewing, she had a gag reflex, vomiting what little was in her stomach on to the floor.
"NOOOOOO!" she screamed spitting the taste from her mouth before turning for the faucet and pouring herself a glass of water. She drank greedily before realizing that she was now in control of her body. She was drinking the water.
Her captor returned from wherever he had been residing. His expression was that of worry.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
"What the hell have you been doing to me? Where's my family? What did you do with them?"
"So you woke up. Odd."
He walked slowly toward her, staring with green eyes like lurid gems set in his eye sockets.
"You will go back into your room. Now!" he commanded.
"No! Where's my family?"
The door swung open by itself. Erin could feel the stifling heat from the room on her back. As he drew closer, she took a step backwards, and then another. He made a gesture with his hands like he was going to push her, and without touching her she was flung into her cell. The door slammed shut locking her in.
She screamed and yelled pounding on the door. She screamed for her husband and for her daughter. She pounded and kicked the walls until her fists and feet hurt, until she finally had to lie down. In a few moments, her exhausted mind and body together fell asleep.
The next morning Erin woke hungry for the first time. Not just hungry, but starving. The idea that the eating of human flesh was keeping her alive made her feel sick, and worse than that was the idea that she may be damned to be the strange man's slave.
"Not if I can help it," she told the empty room.
On this night, she fought the dreamy spell he played upon her tired brain and found herself more in control than the night before. He, on the other hand, was apprehensive at best watching her with an eagle eye. This night was very different from last night for he wasn't in need of a soul and the fridge was well stocked with biker meat.
In addition to her gain of control, she also found that she could submit to his spell and pardon herself from the cooking and eating of last night's kill. She didn't want to eat the meat, but she was going to need the protein if she were going to construct a plan against her captor.
The next morning Erin woke feeling ill with the knowledge of what the faint taste in her mouth was. It took everything she had in her not to vomit her dinner up on the floor. She drank water and thought of her family, hoping they weren't locked in cells of their own, subject to similar cruelty. She felt hopeless in finding them were she to escape. If they were alive, they would have brought authorities to the house to save her. The more she thought about it the worse she felt.
By nightfall, Erin decided that whether Jade and Christopher were dead or alive she was going to actively plot an escape from the house. It was that or give up.
With each passing night her captor became less worried about her and eventually left her alone to cook her gruesome dinner. She watched him closely, trying to understand his routine and planning for the night when she would revolt. He was deteriorating, as she suspected he would. Why this was happening to him she could only guess, but it was clear that he was becoming weaker as his physical being melted away. It would be very soon, perhaps the next time he asked her to bring a man to the house, that she would escape.
Like every other night, she closed her mental eyes and sank into his spell allowing her body to eat without regurgitating. She didn't like allowing herself to fall under his influence, but it beat the hell out of tasting human flesh.
One way or the other, this would be the last night that she would have to succumb to his power.